When darkness into light becomes more than just a 5k walk. 

6 May

5:15am and the crowd is gathering. It’s chilly and it’s dark. There is an air of tension in the atmosphere. We are all here for one reason, suicide prevention awareness. Many here with their own agenda to remember someone that they have lost or to tell their story of survival. One man spoke of his suicide attempt it brought home the reason we were all gathered there.

Suicide has always been a scary word for me. Even now I don’t know how to react around that word. I guess it brings so many thoughts. Why? Was there something that could have been done? Why didn’t they talk about how they felt? The guy who spoke today said he did it because he didn’t want to a burden on his family and felt this was the best option. Depression has always had a stigma attached to it. Don’t talk about it. Sure there’s nothing wrong with you, what are you talking about. But what happens when suicide lands right on your door step? You have to stop and think. You have to deal with it and learn to cope. It becomes very real and you become so much more aware.

My cousin passed away 6 years ago. To this day I still think about it. There are days when it sits heavy on my mind, but the one thing it has taught me is that we have to be more vocal in promoting prevention. I always knew suicide in Ireland was high. Young males going missing on a night out. People to ashamed to say they are not ok, afraid to admit their feelings. The first time I was affected was when a manager from my first job committed suicide. I can’t even begin to describe the shock. He seemed to have it all. He was popular, engaged and was always in the best of moods, the jobs funny man. And then I remember my mum saying sometimes you just don’t know what’s going with a person. In 2013 the Samaritans reported that in the Republic of Ireland 475 people died from suicide. Of that 475, 396 were males and 79 were females. In 2015 there were 554 suicides reported and 470 of those were men. We hold the 2nd highest rate in Europe. For a country of Ireland’s size that is alarming. Not to mention the difference between male and female. 

More and more people are speaking out these days and it is helping to take away from the stigma. Given these figures I was shocked to hear that Ireland’s health minister will be cutting the budget by 12million for mental health services. When it came to debate only a handful of ministers were present. So much for all their promises at election time. 
Suicide with in families is always difficult to talk about. More so to people outside of the family. When people ask how my cousin died I find it difficult to say, not because of shame  I’d shout the story from the roof tops if it meant people would listen and learn from it but more so because of that word and the looks it brings. 

Darkness into light brings a community of Irish together. We can share stories, talk freely and know that everyone there has been affected in someway or another. All over the world we walk. We walk to remember, we walk to prevent and we walk to heal. It’s a time for family and friends to stand united. 
Pieta House does incredible work and fundraising is so important. People need to be able to talk and seek assistance. We can help too, ask people how they are, check in with people. Be kind to one another. You have no idea what’s going on in people’s lives and that friendly hello or kind smile could change their day. 


One Response to “When darkness into light becomes more than just a 5k walk. ”


  1. When darkness into light becomes more than just a 5k walk.  | sineadandmark2013's Blog - May 7, 2016

    […] Source: When darkness into light becomes more than just a 5k walk.  […]

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